Tag Archives: michigan library association

Green Libraries and Sustainability Presentation

I gave a presentation on November 5 at the Michigan Library Association Annual Conference with the very amazing Christa Robinson and Joel Wiese.  We talked about green and sustainable strategies for public libraries.  You can view our presentation and see resources here:


Have suggestions for other vendors, blogs, books, websites, etc. that we should add to the page?  Leave a comment or email me!

28 Days of Library Advocacy and Tweeting Service

Hi All..

Check out 28 Days of Advocacy on the YALSA blog – http://yalsa.ala.org/blog/

And in other news, we’ve begun using Twitter to provide customer service at work.  People are either going to get majorly freaked out, or really dig it.  Not sure which yet.  I guess the rationale for me is that Twitter is micro-blogging.  And it would bum me out if someone said that my company was failing them on a regular blog, so my bosses and I are just as bummed if they mention their unhappy in a microblog!  (Whether is 1000 characters or 140, saying something isn’t working well is a powerful message)

As for the whole Michigan and HAL thing…here’s the info on that from the Michigan Library Association: http://www.mla.lib.mi.us/

A little conference reflection…

I’m in a bit of a rush today, but I wanted to jot down some of the big thoughts in my mind related to conference.

The group of librarians at MLA are clearly split: innovators and old guard.  And the two shall never see eye to eye.  The innovators are gushing about communities of practice, twitter feeds, and the use of tech in getting information to folks.  The old guard is grumbling about tenure, loud kids at the library and what they perceive as changes in the profession that will put us all out of a job.  C’mon, can’t we all just all get along?

Let’s get streamin’…a lot of the big talk at conference was about tagging, twitter, blogging, file sharing, etc.  It’s time to make a web resource center for the MLA conference that will aggregate live blogging, video streaming, twittering and photo sharing (aka flickr) so everyone can see it.  The minimal access aspect of the conference had a very 1990s feel to it.

But it’s easier to b**tch then say what went right, isn’t it?  Well, can I say that I loved the majority of the tech and advocacy programs.  Very well done.  Loved the key notes.  LOVED LOVED LOVED they layout of the conference and the wifi that didn’t require a log in – it was easy to use and consistent.  And it seemed like tech and service people were everywhere, so if you needed something, bam! there it was!

Lastly, can I just say that it was kind of a bummer that Brewster Kahle was speaking at the University of Michigan the first day of MLA conference.  That would have been a really cool webcast to have done…or if MLA had known farther in advance, what an incredible key note.  There is a disconnect in that series of events that I find odd.

Peace out, my peeps.  Have a good weekend.

More about Thursday…

I admit I spent a good chunk of the post lunch time working on my presentation on mentorship.  It turned out well and I think that the folks that came enjoyed it.

Then I walked the two blocks down the street from the hotel to the Kalamazoo Public Library with some friends.  They had a great all conference reception with a live string ensemble…a really neat way to end the day!

Conference gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies about libraries and librarians.  We are not without our faults, but we are pretty cool!

Rockin’ Out Reference

As I write this, I’m watching Holly Hibner of Salem-South Lyon District Library and Christine Tobias of Michigan State University present on Tech Tools for Reference.

Check out the presentation online at http://www.slideshare.net/hhibner

(Thanks for the Twitter love, Holly!)

Conference Time!

It’s MLA Conference next week.  I can’t promise I will be uber-present on my blog, though I will try to summarize daily events if I get the chance.

I’m presenting on Thursday night about Mentorship in the library profession.  If that doesn’t interest you, how about this: I can promise references to Bugs Bunny, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Manatees – all in the same presentation.  Now you can’t wait, right?

The Economics of Summer Reading Programs

So, here’s a crazy idea.  I think that what MLA or the Michigan division of PLA needs to do is set up a deal with large Michigan companies for summer reading goodies.  Can you imagine ALL of Michigan public libraries going up to Kmart, Jiffy Mix, or Vernors or even some of the bigger museums in the state and saying “Hey, can you give us free products or swag or cool stuff from your museum store that we can give as prizes for summer reading?”

What a great way to bolster businesses and provide reminders of the things that are distinctly home-grown brands while also helping libraries boost summer reading.  Public libraries already work closely with community businesses, but large corporations are community businesses too.

Public library patrons are fiercely loyal (usually) and I’m pretty sure that a bit of free stuff would help improve sales in the long run for Michigan companies.

I would like to see MLA help member libraries in that way…let’s see what happens as this year moves towards a fresh batch of summer reading programs!


I went to the Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals game on Saturday.  Two of the worst teams in the AL duke it out, and the Tigers lose 3-13 or something along those lines.  (I think I have forgotten most of the game in an attempt to maintain mental self-preservation).

Dear Royals:  Thank you for the master class in double plays.  I learned a lot but I have a funny feeling that the Tigers did not.

Dear Tigers: Nice try.  You’re still my team.  Please pull yourselves together.  There is no comfort to be found in the pitching department.  Don’t make me start yelling things at games.

BUT I DIGRESS: What the hell does it take to get a block of seats for the MLA at a Tigers game????  It’s a simple phone call, is it not? Next season people, we will be at a game.  And don’t you worry – I’m gonna get us on the big sign.  And we’re drinkin’ beer, and we’re eatin’ hot dogs, and if you have kids, bring them cuz we’re ALL going on the big baseball ferris wheel.  And when ESPN pans the crowd, they will see us, each holding up a giant letter to create this sign:  796.357 BASEBALL.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  And if we’re feeling really smarty-pants, we’ll throw in that whole @ YOUR LIBRARY thing.

In the meantime, do the whole ALA Step Up to the Plate @ your library contest.

Mentoring Our Profession

I’m going to be doing a program with my buddy E. at the Michigan Library Association Annual Conference in K-Zoo this October.  Specifically, I’m talking about mentorship – how to be a good mentor and be a good mentee, how to forge those relationships, and why mentorship should be important to librarianship, MLA, individual libraries, librarians, support staff…everyone and every division.

If any of you currently are in a library/librarian mentorship program, have participated in a successful mentorship program (doesn’t necessarily have to be a library mentorship program), or have a great mentor relationship, I’d love to hear about it.  If you have had a bad experience, well, tell me about that too…it all helps.

Well, let me get my carrier pigeon…

The Michigan Library Association just completed a Call for Volunteers. It was a chance to sign up for committees, work groups, etc. within the organization. They sent out a lovely brochure and a form to fill out. But here’s the thing…you could only submit it via fax or snail mail.

They must be joking.

I already serve on a committee, so I re-up-ed by calling into my monthly meeting and saying “yes I’d love to come back”. But there were some work groups I wanted to join, and quite frankly, I just ran out of time to get the form in the mail. By the time I realized that the only option was fax or mail, it was too late to mail and I was nowhere near a fax. I checked online to see if they had a PDF that could be filled out and emailed in, but no.

I spent a good part of the last week prancing about telling my peers to join MLA and participate.  They would consistently ask how much it was to join, and when I’d hand them the form or tell them to download it, they would balk at the idea of mailing it in.  (“I’m always at my computer, can’t I just email it in or fill out a form online or something?”)

The Michigan Library Association and ALA (to a lesser extent) are always jumping up and down about how people are not participating much and how that needs to change. Well, you have to make it easy for them, and a mail in form is not that easy.